"If the judges interpret the laws themselves, and suffer none else to interpret, they may easily make, of the laws, [a shredded] shipman's hose!" - King James I of England, around 1616.

“No class of the community ought to be allowed freer scope in the expression or publication of opinions as to the capacity, impartiality or integrity of judges than members of the bar. They have the best opportunities of observing and forming a correct judgment. They are in constant attendance on the courts. Hundreds of those who are called on to vote never enter a court-house, or if they do, it is only at intervals as jurors, witnesses or parties. To say that an attorney can only act or speak on this subject under liability to be called to account and to be deprived of his profession and livelihood by the very judge or judges whom he may consider it his duty to attack and expose, is a position too monstrous to be entertained for a moment under our present system,” Justice Sharwood in Ex Parte Steinman and Hensel, 95 Pa 220, 238-39 (1880).

“This case illustrates to me the serious consequences to the Bar itself of not affording the full protections of the First Amendment to its applicants for admission. For this record shows that [the rejected attorney candidate] has many of the qualities that are needed in the American Bar. It shows not only that [the rejected attorney candidate] has followed a high moral, ethical and patriotic course in all of the activities of his life, but also that he combines these more common virtues with the uncommon virtue of courage to stand by his principles at any cost.

It is such men as these who have most greatly honored the profession of the law. The legal profession will lose much of its nobility and its glory if it is not constantly replenished with lawyers like these. To force the Bar to become a group of thoroughly orthodox, time-serving, government-fearing individuals is to humiliate and degrade it.” In Re Anastaplo, 18 Ill. 2d 182, 163 N.E.2d 429 (1959), cert. granted, 362 U.S. 968 (1960), affirmed over strong dissent, 366 U.S. 82 (1961), Justice Black, Chief Justice Douglas and Justice Brennan, dissenting.

" I do not believe that the practice of law is a "privilege" which empowers Government to deny lawyers their constitutional rights. The mere fact that a lawyer has important responsibilities in society does not require or even permit the State to deprive him of those protections of freedom set out in the Bill of Rights for the precise purpose of insuring the independence of the individual against the Government and those acting for the Government”. Lathrop v Donohue, 367 US 820 (1961), Justice Black, dissenting.

"The legal profession must take great care not to emulate the many occupational groups that have managed to convert licensure from a sharp weapon of public defense into blunt instrument of self-enrichment". Walter Gellhorn, "The Abuse of Occupational Licensing", University of Chicago Law Review, Volume 44 Issue 1, September of 1976.

“Because the law requires that judges no matter how corrupt, who do not act in the clear absence of jurisdiction while performing a judicial act, are immune from suit, former Judge Ciavarella will escape liability for the vast majority of his conduct in this action. This is, to be sure, against the popular will, but it is the very oath which he is alleged to have so indecently, cavalierly, baselessly and willfully violated for personal gain that requires this Court to find him immune from suit”, District Judge A. Richard Caputo in H.T., et al, v. Ciavarella, Jr, et al, Case No. 3:09-cv-00286-ARC in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Document 336, page 18, November 20, 2009. This is about judges who were sentencing kids to juvenile detention for kickbacks.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

How the free press taught President Trump how to bash the 1st Amendment - and the free press

I see a lot of "mainstream media" articles lately about President Trump threatening to revoke licenses of news outlets for supposedly publishing what he considers "fake news" - and about how bad his behavior is, that it is in violation of the 1st Amendment.

And - it is in violation of the 1st Amendment.

There is no question that the government may not quash the press simply for the publications critical of the government.

But, in this particular situation - where the "free press" is horrified of the President threatening the free press with adverse consequences for criticizing this particular President - who brought this on?


Let's recall how the same free press was bashing Donald Trump, at that point only a presidential candidate, and not a public official - for what, remember? - for criticizing a judge.

Whether Trump had good reasons to criticize that particular judge or not - I think, he did, see my blogs about it here and here if you are interested in the essence of that controversy - is not so relevant to the core question:  did Trump have a 1st Amendment right to criticize the government?

Because - judiciary is part of the government, remember?

At that time, the "free press" raised a firestorm explaining why it was inappropriate for Trump to criticize a judge - because it was "racist" apparently to point out the judge's own background as having "Mexican heritage" (as I said in my blogs, Trump did not go far enough in his criticism, the judge not only had "Mexican heritage", but was also the so-called anchor child of illegal immigrant parents, which required his disqualification because he identified with the people, just like the judge's own parents, who Trump pledged to deport), and because the judge was "widely respected".

Well, the same "free press" now moderates comments on their articles in social media - and removes (censures) comments that are critical of the articles, see my blogs about it here and here

But, the same media leaves in and does not moderate or censure out vile personal attacks making racist comments about the President's skin color, hair color, length of his sexual organ, his bedroom activities with his wife, claiming his wife is a porn star - and that's just the blandest descriptions of what is actually posted, and what the "free press" allows to be posted in comments, again, while erasing comments that are critical of the issues in articles and are actually relevant and on point.

If we distill the issue down to the very basics, we have the following question:

Does ANY individual in the United States have a right to criticize the government under the 1st Amendment?

The answer seems a no-brainer.

Of course, everybody has a right to criticize the government in the United States.

Yet, the free press appears to instill into the readers a double standard.

The "rule" of the "free press" since 2016 was that that "somebody" does not have a right to criticize the government if he is a private individual (even though a presidential candidate) who certain media sources do not like.

And, that "somebody" does not have a right to criticize the government if the public official criticize is a judge - because it somehow undermines public "trust" in the integrity of the judiciary.  

In other works, do not criticize a particular judge for potential appearance of impropriety, bias or misconduct in order to help the judiciary as a branch of the government to save face in front of the public.

Well, the "free press" has itself to blame now, because President Trump appeared to have learnt the lesson - that in certain times censure of criticism of the government is good.  That's what the press and comments told him in 2016.  Shut your mouth, Donald Trump, and do not criticize a judge.

In other words, shut your mouth, a private individual, and do not criticize the government.

Isn't it what Trump is returning to the "free press" now - shut your mouth in your criticism of me, the public official, or I will yank your broadcasting license?

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